MBDC is happy to welcome Peyton Fernandez as our newest Environmental Chemist. Prior to joining the MBDC team, Peyton explored green chemistry in a variety of ways. We sat down with her to discuss her experience and thoughts on Cradle to Cradle Design™.
What is your general background?
As an environmentalist at heart with a business mind, I started a cleaning business called Southern Eco Cleaners. There was a lot of satisfaction out of helping customers maintain a clean home and with less harmful impacts. At this point, I was naive to what “all-natural” meant and the complexities of sustainability, which led me to my next chapter.
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Because of my developing interest in product formulation, I went back to school for chemistry. I found a research opportunity with an organic chemistry Professor, Dr. Rafael Quirino, at Georgia Southern University. The main focus of Dr. Quirino’s lab is to use readily available, inexpensive and nature-derived starting materials as an alternative to the established, mainstream petroleum platform. My research project was in material science, developing a bio-composite from the reinforcement of a tung-oil based polymer with algae.
After developing a more in-depth perspective of the full use cycle of a product, I realized that a product can be optimized, but how a consumer interacts with goods is a crucial factor in the product’s endpoint. The science of human behavior and consumer decision making sparked my interest. From there, I sought out a research position with a Dr. Christopher Wiese at Georgia Tech in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology field. The team considered the environmental impacts of commuting, along with modes of transportation, and studied the psychological crossover effects of how commuting affects an individual’s work productivity or home life.
Then, I found MBDC — a company which ultimately fulfills each of my professional interests.
What are you excited about for working with MBDC?
There’s nothing I’m not thrilled about working for MBDC. The purpose of Cradle to Cradle Design™ is innovation, quality and beneficence; its aim is to leave a positive ecological footprint and is considerate of all life and future generations.
We are in a time when sustainability, product performance and price are battling each other, and the shift toward a Circular Economy is not an overnight process. Meanwhile, consumers have few resources to verify manufacturers are providing accurate information about how products are made. Formulators or manufacturers do not always have the information they need to develop products that are safe for people and the environment. This can lead to fallacious information about the chemistry that goes into products (such as greenwashing or false claims). To help a company develop safe products for the Circular Economy, third-party assessors such as MBDC collect and evaluate information about how products are made.
What are your interests?
I’ve been a yoga and fitness instructor since 2013, inspired by the Jivamukti style and group oriented classes. At some point I picked up woodworking. Next was soap making: cleaning solutions, shower bombs, candles and chapstick. I’m new to the Charlottesville area, so exploring everything the town has to offer will probably be my next hobby! Now I spend my time enjoying the simpler things in life. I love a thought-provoking podcast, connecting with friends and family, making soup, eating it of course, working out and the outdoors. Oh, and spending time with my dog, Ohana!
Interested in learning more about Cradle to Cradle Design™? Contact us!